Philosophy must change as Boro build for a new future.
BBC Tees pundit Neil Maddison wasn't surprised by the exit of Tony Pulis and says chairman Steve Gibson will have no shortage of options as he plans his next managerial move.
Maddison, the expert summariser on Tees, says "the philosophy has to be different" as he stressed the need for the new man in charge to get fans on side with his style of play.
The former midfielder says Pulis had a "lot to contend with" at Boro, in terms of balancing the books, but believes the decision to part ways with the Welshman was the right one.
In conversation with Boro commentator Mark Drury on BBC Tees, Maddison talked about Pulis, Boro's next appointment and his thoughts on Jonathan Woodgate, who is the favourite with the bookies.
Maddison also stressed how this summer and next season is a big opportunity for the club's Academy players, with Gibson highlighting his vision for a youthful Boro.
Here's the highlights from Maddison: ON PULIS'S EXIT "I think we all expected it. The rumours coming out of the club that he was going to go, it was a matter of time.
"I think the way the season has gone, not getting promotion, not making play-offs at least. Not making them was a disappointment. I think it was the right decision purely because of the fanbase.
"Not making the play-offs was a major factor, for me the squad was still good enough to make the playoffs. We lacked a bit of pace and creativity and sometimes you can disguise that with a solid squad and I thought we had that.
"We were playing players out of position - Jonny Howson and George Saville - it wasn't the ideal scenario but I think we were good enough to make the play-offs.
"Them six games killed us. Even getting a draw and you're in the play-offs and it's all to play for.
"The manager had a lot to contend with. You look at the chairman's statement and his thanks, but in terms of football the fans aren't bothered about that, they want to see entertaining football."
ON THE NEXT MAN IN CHARGE "There will be options because it's a fantastic football club.
"I just feel there'll be a process, they might take their time in appointing someone and trying to get it right.
"The philosophy has to be different. I still think whoever comes in, you always have to be solid.
"The first thing you do, when Terry Venables, one of the best I've ever worked with came in, he talked about the need to be solid, be hard to break down, don't concede goals.
"You make sure you have a good keeper, a good spine, a good centrehalf, good midfielder and a centreforward, you build your jigsaw around it.
"There are players at the football club who can certainly perform, and we've got some good youngsters coming through as well.
"You will need a bit of pace in the side and creativity, but you also need stability and solidness. But in terms of football, yes, I think it will be a different approach.
"Jonathan Woodgate has been mentioned. There are so many. We'll have to wait and see.
"It won't be done sharpish, it will be a process.
"This decision is a big decision, we need to entertain the fans and get them through the door."
ON RECRUITMENT "There are some fantastic players in the lower leagues that might be able to make it in the Championship. It's up to us as a football club to try and identify them. There's players abroad as well. I don't think you'll see the times where we're flinging money at big signings like we have done in the past.
"Adrian Bevington has come in.
His contacts are astounding. That team that he'll put together, it's their job to get out there.
"You have to try and get bargains. They're out there. There's some in the lower leagues that I think can cut it.
"We've brought players in and had to pay extra money for them to come to the North-East. The remit now should be, we're bringing players in because they want to be here.
"At times because of the location you do pay a bit over the odds. It's picking them players that are in the lower divisions, that are abroad, that are not in first team at big clubs, that might fit into our team and the way we work.
"I know for a fact now they're working their socks off to try and get this right."
ON WOODGATE Woody will have his own opinions. He's played under some good managers.
"Now I'm not saying he's the right man but you never know if you don't give it a go, look at Lampard and Gerrard, they've gone in and done really well.
"Working under Tony Pulis, it's the manager's head on the block, you might say, 'I think you're wrong gaffer', but it's the manager's head on the chopping block and he'll go the way he thinks.
"I've talked to Woody a few times regarding how the team played and I remember him saying 'I love to see teams press and get in the face of the opposition'. So he might have a different philosophy and style of play. "He understands the club and he understands the way it's got to be played in terms of last season what happened.
"I think he knows what they want to see and I think he knows he has to be solid, you can't just go gung-ho. You have to have a solid base and you have to have players in side who can change games.
"If you get a diamond from somewhere, look at the Derby team who got into play-offs and are now in the final. They picked out a few players - Mount, Wilson - and they've really paid off.
"I wouldn't discount Woody. He'll have his own ideas and belief for the way the game is played.
"We're not deciding this, it's the chairman and I just think he'll take his time and weigh up his options, there might be someone else he's thinking but they'll have to work within restraints of club and they'll have to try and get those bargains we're talking about."
ACADEMY OPPORTUNITY "I work in that environment so I know them, there are some fantastic players.
"On a consistent basis, you find the lads are up and down. But there are players in the academy now who you think go on, go and try them.
"Whoever does come in to be manager, you back them.
"You've got to back them and get behind them and give them that support. Back them and let's see where they go.
"Yes, they've got a big job. If it is Jonathan Woodgate I think he'll need someone alongside him with a bit of clout and knowledge. Look at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Mike Phelan at United, someone who's been there and done it.
"Whoever it is that comes in, it's important the fans get behind him.
"The Academy will play a big part.
The players will be absolutely thrilled (with Gibson's comments).
"If I'm in the Academy I'd be having my holiday then I'd be right at it, making sure I come back absolutely flying. Because if there was ever an opportunity for them young guys it is now. Most of the lads will leave today, it's their last day then they go on holiday.
"I'm certain Craig Liddle, the lads in charge, Paul Stephenson, will be saying to them, this is an opportunity, you have to come back as fit as anything, get yourself right in preseason, have a good pre-season then when it all starts again you have to be firing because there's an opportunity to get in the first team. And what an opportunity."
The likes of Jonny Howson were often played out of position
Neil Maddison says it was right for Tony Pulis to leave, but is Jonathan Woodgate, left, the man to replace him? SIMON MOORE